Best Phone Apps for Solo Hiking

Let’s talk about a few MUST-HAVE PHONE APPS - especially if you are hiking alone!!!

By Michele Michel

Getting out into the great outdoors by yourself is great - it’s wonderful to be alone with your thoughts setting your own agenda and walking at your own pace. However, it seems that we hear all too often of another person who has become lost in nearby bush-land that has sparked a costly search and rescue mission. I am sure it was harrowing for the victim but many of these incidences could easily have been avoided with some very minor planning and using some very clever smartphone apps.

1.       TELL SOMEONE - Most important - let someone know approximately where you are going and when you plan to return. Extreme example, but think of Aron Ralston (127 hrs) - he may not have had to cut his own arm off if he had just told someone where he was heading!

2.       Always carry water and a basic amount of first aid with you - some band-aids, antihistamine tablets, paracetamol, compression bandage, a triangular sling and an emergency blanket.

3.       Plan your walk - have an idea of where you are going and how long it should take.

4.       Be prepared to back track - if you feel like you are off track go back to the point that you recognise.

Download these 3 FREE Apps on your phone and don’t forget to consult them. Check the charge on your phone before you head out as none of these apps are of any use with no charge.

Before you are going….

1.       Check the weather - again all can be revealed on the Bureau Of Meteorology App (BOM)

2.       See what the situation is with any fires with the Fires Near Me NSW App

3.       EMERGENCY PLUS app– this gives you your GPS coordinates which helps when there are no street signs to read and you can use it to inform emergency services, your exact location!!


And if you do need to call 000…

Special roaming capabilities of mobile phones when calling 000 mean that when you are out of your service provider's coverage area but are in another carrier's mobile phone network coverage area, your call will be carried on the other carrier’s network.

·       Most phone keypads will allow calls to 000 even when locked

·       Calls to 000 can be made with no SIM card inserted ( or a damaged SIM card)

·       Calling 112 - is an alternative Emergency number to call from a mobile but since 2002, calling 000 provides the same capabilities, so no need to remember this number.

However, it is important to realise that if there is no mobile coverage, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile phone, and alternative devices, such as personal location beacons (PLBs) should be considered. These can be borrowed or hired form local police stations or National Parks Offices near you hike.

Jo Vartanian